- Give a strong sniff. If the plant part smells awful or like a rotting corpse, toss it out.
- If not, hold the plant part to your inner elbow or wrist for a few minutes. Do you feel itching, burning, or any other negative response? If yes, don't eat it.
- If your skin feels fine, kiss the plant with your lips and then wait for 15 minutes.
- As long as there's no burning or itching, take a pea-sized bite. If the plant tastes extremely bitter or soapy, spit it out immediately—but remember, most plants are gross, so don't expect the peppery flavor of basil. Even if the taste is bearable, hold the bite in your mouth for another 15 minutes.
- Finally, wait for at least a few hours. At this point, if you're not feeling sick or dead on the forest floor, then that part of the plant—and that part only—is probably safe to eat.